WinExpert bentonite dissolving hints / tricks

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by nwwoods, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. Jul 6, 2019 #21

    mhopkins

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    I had the problem above once. My practice now is to ensure the Bentonite is loose like sand (not clumped). Swirl vigorously the prescribed amount of very hot (not boiling) water in the bottom of the primary bucket and add the Bentonite very slowly. Never had a problem with this practice.
     
  2. Jul 6, 2019 #22

    Kantuckid

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    I put my betonite in a small measuring cup and stirred until dissolved. It was the same stuff i get from the wine supplier. Takes a few minutes but not what I'd call difficult. I goes to the bottom with other junk so i don't see the problem unless you just don't want to use chitosan, etc.?
     
  3. Jul 6, 2019 #23

    Greg Teegarden

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    Re: skins,

    My kit didn’t come with the bag to put the skins in. I wound up using a similar type bag my wife had laying around, but I couldn’t close it correctly and when I looked the bucket the following morning it had opened and most of the skins were free floating. I decided to just leave it and strained them out later during racking. Worked fine.

    Also, I’ll note that my bentonite packet also didn’t dissolve all that well. It reminded me of clumped up cat litter. I eventually just gave up and figured it would eventually breakdown itself. When I racked the bucket there weren’t any clumps, so I suppose it’s not terribly important in any case.
     
  4. Jul 6, 2019 #24

    Kantuckid

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    I have bag that's sold for cider press use that ties tightly and very durable. Cheese cloth is OK but can be pricey plus it's not very durable. it can be tied tightly with a string for wine skins. By adding the bentonite slowly!!! as you stir(like dry ingriedients to breads or cakes in a mixer) the clay mixes OK.
     
  5. Jul 7, 2019 #25

    szap

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    I want to second what VCN posted. I also add more water than the instructions call for (2 cups in a 7 gallon ferment bucket??!!! Give me a break) I add the bentonite and swirl the bucket. I don't stir because the bentonite forms a sticky mess that will cling to the spoon like glue. This bentonite in the newer kits is way different than the bentonite in the older kits which I did dissolve.Since the instructions say to mix well and nothing about dissolving, I just swirl enough for the water to turn grey but far from dissolved and then move on to adding the juice. I've never had any issues nor found bentonite on the bottom of the bucket. and I've done a number of these kits.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2019 #26

    Kantuckid

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    Not to argue but where does your bentonite go? If it's in there it's either in solution or hits the bottom sooner or later...
     
  7. Jul 7, 2019 #27

    szap

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    I could be wrong but I think that when the additional liquids are added it does dissolve.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2019 #28

    Kantuckid

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    Bentonite is clay. The material i get in recently bought kits is identical to what I have on hand from the regular suppliers, gray powdered clay. It doesn't disappear was my point. I've read several places it precipitates through the wine in conjunction with the chitosan and given the two have =/- charges they pick up dead yeast as the gravitate downward. Mine is deposited in the bottom of my carboy and easily washes out after wines removed.
    That said i'm sure not an expert here...
     
  9. Jul 7, 2019 #29

    szap

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    That explains the trub almost adhering to the bottom of the carboy. I thought the original question had to do with getting the initial bentonite addition into solution before proceeding further.
     
  10. Jul 7, 2019 #30

    Kantuckid

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    Yes it reminds me of ground, dry potters clay. I use it and the chitosan as we have no shellfish allergies .
     
  11. Jul 8, 2019 #31

    Mismost

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    The WE bentonite in the new kits is different IMO and I experienced the same difficulties. Mine just wanted to turn into a firm clay..... I used a whisk and beat the daylights out of it... Still clumpy.
    Third new style kit, and same issue on the first too. They made good wine, so I'm not worried about it.
     
  12. Jul 8, 2019 #32

    bstnh1

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    Adding boiling water to the fermenter is fine if you're using the bucket type. I tried that with the Fermonster and it destroyed it - warped and buckled the plastic. The new bentonite in the WE kits is much coarser and tougher to dissolve than previously. Two cups of hot water only made a gummy mess for me. What I do now is put a quart or more of almost boiling water in a large Pyrex bowl and whisk it hard while slowly adding the bentonite. Seems to dissolve most of it pretty fast. I think the trick is to use plenty of water.
     
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  13. Jul 8, 2019 #33

    FunkedOut

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